The San Francisco Department of Public Health’s human resources director has announced plans to step down, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.
In an email shared with the Examiner, Ron Weigelt, who joined the health department in 2013, confirmed “a lot of rumors floating around about the possibility of my leaving DPH.”
“It is true, I am intending to leave DPH. I am actively looking for a new opportunity,” he wrote in the email.
On Oct. 10, Weigelt also penned a letter obtained by the Examiner in which he informed health department director Dr. Grant Colfax that he is “actively searching for a new job.”
“I remain committed to doing my absolute best for you during this period. I assure you that my job search will not interfere with my work,” he said.
Health department spokesperson Rachael Kagan said in a statement on Thursday that Colfax “requested and received a letter of resignation” on Thursday from Weigelt.
She added that the resignation is effective on Nov. 1.
“We thank Mr. Weigelt for his commitment to the Health Department, where he has served as Human Resources Director since 2013. We are committed to continuing to improve our human resources functions, and are looking forward to bringing on a new leader to take us in that direction,” Kagan said.
On Thursday, Weigelt told the Examiner that he is leaving for “personal reasons.”
“I have been here six-and-a-half years, I want to do something else,” he said. Weigelt added that he does not plan to leave “abruptly,” but will “transition out so that the department can be successful.”
The department has come under scrutiny in recent months over plans to significantly scale down a residential mental health facility at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital by converting 41 beds into temporary shelter beds for homeless individuals in psychiatric crisis.
The department has cited an inability to expediently hire the staff needed to run the facility and alleged staff misconduct among the reasons for the planned bed reductions. Nurses and other DPH staff working at the hospital said that some positions have remained open for more than a year.
Health department workers and city leaders, including supervisors Hillary Ronen and Matt Haney, pushed back against the proposal and directed the health department with legislation to put forth a hiring plan detailing efforts to fill chronic vacancies inside of the hospital’s facilities.
While hiring falls under Weigelt’s scope of work, he said that he does not believe his impending departure will impact current hiring efforts, adding that he will continue that work as long as he remains with the department.
In his role overseeing one of the largest city departments in San Francisco, Weigelt provides support to some 8,000 health department staff and “coordinates human resources related matters with dozens of community based organizations” and some 3,000 UCSF staff through an “affiliation agreement,” according to Weigelt’s Linkedin.
Weigelt directly oversees some 100 staff and “is responsible for managing a payroll of $845 million annually.”
This story has been updated to reflect comment from the health department.